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Neymar, Brazil begin marketing campaign as favorites

Nothing embodies Thanksgiving like watching the World Cup, however that is the place we’re at with this explicit version. With Turkey Day tomorrow, we count on a feast of soccer with match faves Brazil in motion towards Serbia, Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal taking up Ghana and Uruguay squaring up towards South Korea in a matchup of sleeper groups.

However Wednesday’s outcomes proved to be a worthy appetizer to Thursday’s cornucopia. Japan stunned Germany, whereas Canada have been unfortunate towards Belgium. And maybe impressed by the complete slate of upcoming NFL motion, Spain scored a proverbial landing over Costa Rica in a 7-0 thrashing.

You should definitely verify in with ESPN all through the match as we convey you the most recent from Qatar. Here is what you might have missed from Wednesday’s World Cup happenings.

– World Cup information, options, previews, and extra
– Stream FC Day by day and Futbol Americas on ESPN+


Neymar nears Pele’s mark however Brazil on excessive alert

We noticed Argentina lose to Saudi Arabia in a monumental upset on Tuesday, and earlier Wednesday four-time World Cup winners Germany went down towards Japan. Will Brazil, the general favorites to elevate the trophy in Qatar, undergo the same destiny towards Serbia on Thursday?

Something can occur, however Brazil coach Tite has put his facet on discover to not take something as a right at this stage, telling reporters that “each staff is proud and needs to do its greatest in a World Cup.” That particularly rings true for his squad, trying to win an unprecedented sixth title and their first one in 20 years.

“I am unable to take the accountability of the final 20 years, solely 4,” he stated. “We have now a terrific nation, keen about soccer, and this additionally serves as a instrument for schooling. We not solely have strain, however we make the most of it, as a result of dreaming is a part of life.”

When Brazil take the sphere, they will arguably have the deepest and most balanced squad of any on the match, with playmakers in any respect positions. Alisson is among the greatest goalkeepers within the enterprise, and there are few centre-backs with the pace and high quality of Marquinhos, partnered both with the category and expertise of Thiago Silva or the pace of Eder Militao.

Their wealth of attacking choices is sort of unfair. Lucas Paqueta, Richarlison, Raphinha and Vinicius Junior enable Brazil to attain in loads of alternative ways.

And as for Neymar? The lofty expectations for him in a Brazilian jersey have at all times appeared unfair however that can change if he does two issues: win the World Cup, and rating three extra targets to interrupt Pele’s report of 77 for many by a Brazilian males’s nationwide staff participant. No strain.


Portugal welcome an precise match with Ronaldo circus

“I do not perceive your persistence on this topic as a result of there’s nothing.” That was what Portugal midfielder Bernardo Silva advised a swarm of reporters on Wednesday in regards to the roiling drama surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo’s membership scenario.

To recap, Ronaldo bashed Man United in a really public approach, which has led to some awkward moments together with his teammates, and finally he and the membership determined to go their separate methods. All this whereas Portugal prepares for Thursday’s recreation towards Ghana — to not point out the truth that the homeowners of Manchester United are eyeing a possible sale of the membership.

However to counter Silva’s beleaguered response, there’s one thing to this topic. It’s Ronaldo in any case, eyeing a closing shot to win the one main trophy not his cupboard from him, and now a free agent who can signal with any membership he desires.

Sources have advised ESPN that Ronaldo — who didn’t converse with reporters — is ready to start out towards Ghana on Thursday, however that Portugal coach Fernando Santos is already desirous about dropping him for his or her second recreation towards Uruguay. Santos nonetheless believes Ronaldo is Portugal’s greatest participant “within the field,” however given that he’s anticipating extra of the Uruguay recreation to be performed between the 2 penalty areas, he is contemplating different choices.

Whether or not Ronaldo’s restricted position is extra tactical or an try to take the media glare of the staff, we will see. Regardless, there’s doubtless aid in Portugal’s camp simply to get the ball rolling.

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Gab Marcotti feels Cristiano Ronaldo leaving Manchester United with fast impact will enable each the participant and the membership to maneuver on.


England vs. USA: Projections, oddmakers’ picks, updates

Whereas Black Friday actions are centered on standing outdoors an equipment retailer at 2 am or discovering one of the best on-line gross sales, this 12 months you may add England vs. USA to your listing of actions on the busiest procuring day of the 12 months.

With america squad drawing towards Wales two days again, what are their odds of advancing out of their group? Is their match towards England on Friday a must-win? If they do not win, what should they do towards Iran within the final group match? We break down all of the situations and betting prospects right here.

As for the way the staff is feeling after that powerful 1-1 consequence towards Wales, USMNT midfielder Brenden Aaronson’s description of the vibe within the locker room doubtless mirrored the broader feeling from the fan base.

“Upset,” he stated. “All people was fairly dissatisfied.”

All in all, count on some adjustments to the lineup towards England. Aaronson may very well be beginning instead of Weston McKennie within the midfield, and there may very well be extra switches up entrance and within the protection. Learn up on the most recent of what we’re listening to from the USA camp.

And as for England, they’re feeling a sigh of aid as star striker Harry Kane ought to be good to go regardless of an ankle harm scare, sources have advised ESPN. The 29-year-old underwent a scan which is believed to have been extra precautionary than in response to a deterioration in his situation after he was substituted with 14 minutes remaining of Monday’s 6-2 win over Iran.

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Sam Borden experiences from Qatar as UMNT stars Yunus Musah and Cameron Carter-Vickers are keen to indicate England what they’re lacking.


In the present day’s prime reads

After fractured cranium, Raul Jimenez’s street again to Mexico squad has been exceptional
Two years since his critical head harm, Jimenez would be the key in Mexico’s World Cup run, however his return by itself is a pleasure.

Spain thrash Costa Rica, begin World Cup marketing campaign in type as Gavi makes historical past
Spain delivered a masterclass towards The Ticos of their World Cup opener, proving Luis Enrique’s facet could make a deep run for the trophy.

Courtois denies higher Canada facet and secures undeserved Belgium win
Belgium performed poorly towards Canada, with Hazard and De Bruyne invisible. However it did not matter, due to their keeper.


Your greatest bets (odds through Caesars Sportsbook)

For those who’re trying to wager on the World Cup, ESPN contributors Paul Carr, Dan Thomas and Dalen Cuff are right here to provide you key tips about odds, choices and futures.

Here is what we now have for the Thursday matches.

Group G

Switzerland (-135) vs. Cameroon (+420), Draw (+240)

Dan Cuff: Switzerland is coming off a formidable run to the quarterfinals in final summer time’s Euros which included taking out France within the spherical of 16. Basically that very same squad is again now who topped their group in qualifying forward of Italy. I nonetheless have questions on their capacity to attain, however I do know their protection and method on the again is so stable, solely permitting two targets in eight qualifying matches. I just like the Swiss to maintain a clear sheet +100.

Paul Carr: I like each groups to get a aim on this one (+120), with every staff stronger within the midfield and assault than on the again. It is at all times attainable one staff or the opposite will get conservative and locks issues down defensively, however that is not Cameroon’s type. Cameroon-born striker Breel Embolo might do the scoring honors for Switzerland, whereas Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa and Toko Ekambi will discover a strategy to get Cameroon on the board.

DanThomas: I feel that is going to be a low-scoring affair. I might take the below 1.5 targets (+200).

Brazil (-225) vs. Serbian (+625), Draw (+330)

cuff: I like Serbia’s staff, so this is not a play about their futility — extra so Brazil’s dominance. When folks consider Brazil, they suppose aptitude, offense, or play good … they’ve that in spades, however defensively they’re so stable. Solely permitting 5 targets in all of South American qualifying and possessing arguably one of the best keeper on this planet in Alisson. I like Brazil to win 2-0 (+145).

Automobile: Brazil appear sure to attain right here, with 9 (!) high quality forwards on the roster and a median of two.4 targets per recreation in qualifying. Serbia’s protection is stable and in addition gave up at the least one aim in 11 of 14 qualifiers and Nations League video games over the previous two years. So I feel we get targets right here, by some means, and I like over 2.5 targets (-135), even with Aleksandar Mitrovic a matchday resolution due to harm.

Thomas: Right here we go then, the favorites to win all of it. Brazil have been a lot enjoyable to look at late and hopefully they’ll convey that high quality into this match. Let’s hope for many targets. I am taking on 3.5 (+185).

Group H

Uruguay (-130) vs. South Korea (+400), Draw (+240)

cuff: Son Heung-Min could also be extra useful to his South Korean staff than any participant within the match. Coming off that facial fracture, he has skilled with a face masks on and it appears he’ll play. Son’s kind stays a query whereas Uruguay have a terrific mixture of veterans which have had success on this match and younger blood now invigorating the group. I like Uruguay to win the group (+185) and begin sturdy of their opener. Uruguay to win (-135).

Automobile: Dalen principally stole my complete spiel right here, as I additionally had Uruguay to win this group pre-tournament. Uruguay simply has a lot expertise at each place, and a perfect mix of youth and expertise. South Korea is healthier than you most likely suppose, and Napoli’s Kim Min-Jae will at all times give the protection an opportunity. However that Uruguay midfield pair of Federico Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur ought to be the distinction in an Uruguay win (-135).

Thomas: I like Valverde and the percentages for him to attain anytime at +450 look beneficiant to say the least.

Portugal (-270) vs. Ghana (+850), Draw (+340)

cuff: I feel Portugal are higher with out Cristiano Ronaldo within the beginning XI, coupling that together with his exit from Manchester United resulting in an icy and uncomfortable dynamic inside the squad which was seen when Ronaldo confirmed as much as Portugal’s camp. Supervisor Fernando Santos will not sit him. In the meantime, Ghana have some outdated heads who know what it is wish to get out of the group nonetheless on this roster. I just like the Black Stars to get a consequence; my play is the double probability (win or draw) +200.

Thomas: Ronaldo anytime scorer +120. It needs to be him.


Information and notes


What else caught our eye

Not solely did Japan get the upset victory over Germany however the Samurai Blue followers additionally continued an exquisite postmatch custom that has develop into a signature gesture at earlier large tournaments.

And to shut out, you’ve gotten most likely seen Saudi Arabia’s game-winning stunner over Argentina by now on each spotlight reel and throughout all angles. However have you ever seen it reenacted with a bunch of Legos?

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Salem Al-Dawsari’s successful aim for Saudi Arabia towards Argentina on the World Cup recreated in Lego.

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